It's a strange creature the Co-op Party and when I go to the Manchester Area Party meetings I observe the goings on from a back seat. Funded by the consumer co-operative societies which determine the geography from their trading area, and this has to be mapped onto political boundaries, so the fit isn't too good somtimes. Even the people who've been for years describe it as 'byzantine'. Following the merger of United and the Co-op Group the north is suppose to re-organise itself. So far there is no agreement and so things will remain the same until 2009. There are some who want one big regional party, and there are those who want three regions in the north west and anything on the other side of the Pennines can do what they want. However Warrington today joined the Manchester Area Co-op Party - but Bolton & Bury don't want to.
The good part is you always get lunch, and you can chat to people not from your part of the forest. Got some Parliamentary gossip from Jim Dobbin MP, and updates about community radio from Cllr. Jim King from Salford. I left to go to football in Bury - FC United v. Rossendale - thinking changes are coming only we'll have to wait and see.